By Railfan & Railroad Staff
MONTICELLO, Ill. — The Monticello Railway Museum has acquired a unique Illinois Central SW14 locomotive. IC 1407 started life as an SW7 but was rebuilt by Illinois Central Gulf in 1977 into an SW14, one of the first switchers to enter the railroad’s unique rebuild program.
The SW14 will be the third IC locomotive preserved at the museum, which aims to save the history of central Illinois railroading. The museum also has former IC SD40 and GP11 locomotives.
The SW14s made up the backbone of the IC’s switcher fleet from the time they were rebuilt well into the years following the merger with the Canadian National, with units still in service as late as 2021. The units, with their unique angled cabs, could be found in practically every yard across the IC system and were a constant presence in yards throughout the central Illinois region for decades.
Following its rebuild in 1977, locomotive 1407 continued to work for the IC until 1998, when it was retired and sold into private lease service. Following a career in private lease service, 1407 was graciously donated to the Monticello Railway Museum by GATX Locomotive Group. The unit is currently stored in Lexington, Ky.
The Monticello Railway Museum is actively fundraising to cover the costs of transportation of the unit to Monticello and for its eventual restoration. A gracious donor will be matching dollar-for-dollar the first $5,000 donated to help cover these expenses. Individuals can donate to help preserve 1407 by going to mrym.org/donate and selecting the Illinois Central 1407 when prompted.